It’s become fashionable for atheists to tell us atheism is not a philosophy or ideology or belief-system or worldview. Atheism doesn’t have a positive identity. It doesn’t stand for anything. It merely opposes one thing: atheism is disbelief in God or gods.
The motivation for this nugatory claim is to shift the burden of proof onto the Christian. The supposition is that if you express your position in purely negative terms, then you don’t have anything to prove.
Of course, that’s just a verbal trick, but for now I’ll pass on the logic of the strategy, and discuss some other ramifications of the claim.
Even though we’re told that atheism is not a philosophy or ideology, atheists certainly act as if atheism is a package deal. For instance, they wax indignant at OT ethics. They assail Christians because we don’t think mothers have the right to abort their babies. They assail Christians because we don’t think sodomites have a right to marry each other, adopt children, serve in the military, and so forth.
For a lean nonbelief, atheism seems to have an awfully long list of do’s and don’ts.
In addition, atheists claim that they are victims of an unwritten code which discriminates against atheists. That they are unjustly distrusted by the intolerant Christian majority.
But if atheism is just a simple nonbelief, then atheism is compatible with an enormously wide range of beliefs and behaviors. Atheism doesn’t logically preclude you from kidnapping college coeds and dissecting them alive, without anesthetic, in your basement, for the sheer fun of watching them writhe and scream and beg for mercy.
Atheism is fully compatible with making your living by cheating elderly widows out of their lifesavings.
Atheism is fully compatible with abducting street kids and selling them on the black market for their vital organs.
Atheism is logically consistent with anything short of theism.
There’s a sense in which a suicide bomber is more reliable than an atheist. At least you know where you stand with the suicide bomber. You know what to expect.
But with an atheist, that smiling cable guy you let into your home might as well be Dexter Morgan.